A suspected armed robber was shot dead in an apparent shoot-out with security guards at a shopping mall in Bedfordview in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Netcare 911

Johannesburg - A suspected armed robber was shot dead in an apparent shoot-out with security guards at a shopping mall in Bedfordview in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.

Police have launched a manhunt for an unconfirmed number of alleged robbers following the shooting incident at a jewellery store at Bedford Centre around midday on Sunday.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said: "Preliminary reports suggest that three armed suspects entered a jewellery store at the centre, and demanded watches from the staff. Security officers are said to have responded to a call and the suspects started firing shots as security arrived. Security members returned fire and one of the suspects was declared dead on the scene."

One security officer was rushed to hospital after he was allegedly hit by one of the suspects as the latter fled the scene.

It is believed that there could have been more than just three suspects as the alleged robbers made off in two vehicles.

Police recovered on the scene a rifle - AK47 - with two loaded magazines. The firearm will be subjected to ballistic testing for further investigation.

The suspects are said to have taken watches whose make and value is yet to be confirmed, Peters said.

Police are appealing for information that could lead to the identification and apprehension of the suspects. Anyone with information may contact police at Bedfordview SAPS, or call the Crime Stop number 08600 10111, or give a tip off on the SAPS newly launched MySAPS app that can be downloaded onto any smartphone.

IOL